The Foodie Column for Sept 1
By T. Myers
Back to school time! Can we believe that summer is over for our little ones and that they are already heading back to school? Before we start with foodie ideas, let me remind you that children today are not taught much about safety when walking on or near roads that carry traffic and as drivers, we need to be vigilant about young students crossing streets- when they feel they want to cross and not at the corners. Since we have few painted crosswalks, some of them can be very confused about what is a safe way to cross the streets, so help them get adjusted to the new rhythm of school days as we move into the school season! Be ready to take extra time to help them.
It is time to take a few minutes to plan for back to school lunches. There is nothing worse for a child to suffer through the unplanned and embarrassing lunch bag full of the usual Pb&j, a cookie and drink of some kind when it is just as easy to dazzle your little ones with an assortment of specially packed goodies to make a young tummy say A-h-h-h!
Don’t kid yourself- even if you do not have children to send lunches with, there are lunches for any person who goes to work and this will work for big and little people!
I go to the dollar stores and purchase a few of the plastic container packs that they sell for cheap and then I go shopping for the bags of goodies from Costco, Walmart or other big box store.
On Sunday afternoon I set up a week’s worth of containers for crispy snacks, dessert snacks, veggies, fruits, crackers, cheese, sandwich items and drink boxes. When I open the bags, I put them into the containers and seal the bags for next week. With veggies, I clean them and slices of apples etc., and dip the apples or other fruit pieces in lemon water and set the prepared items on the shelf in the fridge. I do the same for cheese (don’t overlook cottage cheese and canned fruit options) and meat pieces, pickles, olives and other go to nibbles.
By the end of an hour or so, I have amassed a collection of containers I can choose from every week day without getting completely bored.
Packing a ¼ sandwich works- take two they’re small! Cupcakes and 2 inch cookies fit well in a small container.
Small stone fruits and grape tomatoes, carrot sticks and humuus is always good.
Have fun helping your students and big people who need good lunches be amused and delighted with their lunch time surprises. Bon Appetit starts with surprise lunches from your kitchen to their lunch table!
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